HORNSBY WAR MEMORIAL
The monument was unveiled on 27 April 1923 to commemorate the men of the Hornsby District who served in the Great War. Its design is a squat buff granite obelisk, standing about 4 metres high. The obelisk, originating in Ancient Egypt as a funerary monument, is designed to be wider at the base than at its top with the sides of the shaft characteristically embellished with dedications to inspire commemoration.
"Pro Patria ('for one's country') is above the honour rolls on the memorial's taper in contrast to the inscription on the plaque below the names of those that gave their lives which focusses on Australia as part of the British Empire. 'Immortal' and 'for humanity's cause' were designed to evoke a nobler and uplifting tone. The other plaques at the wider base of the monument now inscribe all the conflicts in which local soldiers were involved.
The bronze standard (double carriage-light design) lighting was a notable period feature of the monument as were the two mature Butia palms planted nearby. Within the civic landscape, the memorial was located in a central, prominent, accessible position and on non-denominational 'common ground' politically and spiritually. As in 1923, it is adjacent to the western side of the railway station and in close proximity to the Council Chambers, Post Office, Police Station, schools and shopping area.
One of the polished central panels (all inscribed in gold lettering) lists 61 names under 'They gave their lives' and the other three the 360 names of those returned under 'They also served'. The language was designed to provide comfort more than inform on the 'reality of war' by mentioning death and to honour the voluntary nature of the service. The listing of the returned was designed to give the monument a less funerary character. The alphabetical name order was to ensure equal honour to all commemorated.
The memorial plays the central role in the Hornsby Shire on Anzac Day with representatives of local school, youth and community organisationsassembling at the Hornsby RSL club to march to the memorial for the Dawn Service.